I realized, thanks to a blog I read this morning, that I'm very good at counting the blessings in most of my life but not so good about counting the blessings in my writing life. When I talk about my writing to others, I tend to focus on the lack of time and organization in my writing life - on the fact that because my day-job schedule changes sometimes from day to day, I always feel as if I don't have a handle on a writing schedule, as if I'm being tossed from pillar to post (and what does that mean, anyway?). I have too many other things to do - blogging, promotional things, my commitment to my writing organization, reading work of friends (which I love and would never give up).
But in many ways I'm incredibly fortunate. How? I'm just now thinking about that:
- I have terrific and supportive writing friends, who listen to me when I whine about time and energy and motivation - and I promise you, I'm going to stop doing that. Because having you in my life is a huge blessing.
- I write fast and relatively easily once I get started - don't get jammed up too much - this is definitely a blessing.
- I DO have time to write. So what if it's scattered? I like to write in short blocks so this can be a blessing.
- I like writing short - novellas and short fiction - and those are making a comeback, especially on e-sites. That, too, is a blessing.
- I can write anywhere because I like to write - at least part of the time - by hand. When I'm stuck, when I'm not sure what comes next, I take out my pen (a blue Uniball Signo 207) and my yellow newsprint lined paper, and I write. I love the feel of the pen against the page and I can lose myself in it. That ability to write anywhere and losing myself in the writing are both blessings.
- Almost anything I do, anywhere I go, anyone I know or see, anything I read, is research. The blessing there is that I don't think of it as research, it's just life. And how wonderful is that?
- I have a lifetime of experiences, of people, of places, of things, of reading, to use as fodder for my work - I don't do it consciously, but when I think about it now, I know that's a big part of where my fiction comes from. So my long and healthy and exciting (both good and bad) life is a blessing.
- I get to write off the books I buy - and I'm an avid reader - and that's a blessing. They ARE research in one way or another, either about the skill of a writer or the ideas, or just simply the immersion in the art.
- I get to go to places - the art gallery, the aquarium, the beach, the park, the streets of the city, or the woods, or the mall - and all of those places give me ideas. I listen to people on the street or the bus or in the elevator, on my way to and from work, which is all part of the scattering of my time - and I often get the beginning of a new story. Definitely a blessing. I can't tell you how many of my stories have begun with an overheard phrase.
- I can sit on a bench or in a coffee shop and simply contemplate the world and it's about the writing. How many people are that blessed?
- And most of all are the mornings like this - when I read something and it brings me to a realization about life, or love, or writing, and I can share it right away. Right here. It makes me articulate my thoughts, it makes me a better writer, it makes me happy. So this blog - and the others I contribute to - are blessings. So thanks to all of you for that.
This morning I'm definitely counting blessings.